When parents are either unmarried or going through a divorce, a family law court may assign an order for the support and care of any minor child. This may require either parent to provide regular financial support, based on the needs of the child and the parent’s ability to pay.
Schedule a consultation with a Prescott child support lawyer today for more information. An experienced family attorney could provide answers to any questions you may have regarding child support.
Arizona has put in place guidelines for determining child support. This amount is a calculated share of a parent’s income, based on the number of children they have.
Almost all earned income will be considered in these calculations. This includes:
A knowledgeable lawyer in Prescott could help a parent calculate how much child support they may be required to pay.
Guidelines are also generally based on typical circumstances but there can be exceptions, such as proven extraordinary expenses and other adjustments. Support payments can also be terminated when the child turns 18 and finishes high school, for example.
High-income households also may not pay the same support percentages as other families. If the parents’ combined income is more than $20,000 a month, the court may not follow the guidelines.
In some cases, a parent’s child support payments may need to be modified due to extenuating circumstances. One common issue is that a parent loses their job and can no longer afford to make the payments. It is important to remember that a parent cannot modify their child support without the court entering a new order.
If a parent simply reduces payments, they could face legal consequences and owe the other party backpay. Other reasons a court might agree to modify support include:
The circumstances must be continuing or ongoing and not temporary to warrant a modification. For instance, if the parents change the schedule temporarily to accommodate a short-term work obligation for the custodial parent, the support should remain the same. Anyone seeking to modify support should consult with an experienced child support attorney in Prescott.
Child support is a serious obligation, and can result in criminal consequences if neglected. A parent who does not receive the ordered child support can file a petition with the court to hold the other party in contempt. If the court finds that the other parent had the funds to make the payment but willfully refused, then the court can send the non-paying party to jail for this offense.
If the parent who failed to pay does not appear in court, the judge can find them in contempt and issue a warrant for their arrest. In addition to facing jail time, a parent who fails to pay child support can have their driver’s license or professional licenses suspended. A court can also order that the parent’s employer withhold the child support amount from their paycheck.
Individuals in Prescott who fail to provide child support payments as ordered will need to speak to a seasoned lawyer about their obligations and the possible consequences of their actions. Anyone who is not receiving the child support payments they are owed should also speak to a Prescott attorney about their legal options for holding that other party responsible.
Our Prescott child support lawyer c work closely with you, whether you have been asked to pay or if you are seeking support. We will seek an outcome that supports your child’s upbringing and development. Do not wait, call our office today for guidance.
Willison Law, PC
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